Scrap metal sculpture is a 3D jigsaw puzzle with no instructions. Those who do it well draw on solid construction skills and the uncanny ability to ‘see’ where pieces fit together.
I’m a huge fan of rusty junk so I like the idea of learning to weld. But it’s hot, heavy work that I’ll probably never attempt so I love seeing what sculptors achieve with recycled steel and plenty of patience.
For Tim Read an unwieldy pile of waste has endless potential. Work in the building industry exposed him to a wide variety of scraps and offcuts and sparked an interest in upcycling and reuse. Tim collected materials and dabbled with sculpture for years until a move to the bush in 2012 allowed room for a professional studio.
Now there is no stopping the flow of creativity, and the variety of work from Tread Sculptures is impressive. Tim tackles anything from large outdoor installations to one-off sculpture and furniture commissions. Practical artworks include light bollards and totems, screens, gates, wall features, fire pits, birdbaths, water features, mailboxes and signage.
“Recycled artwork for me, is about connecting with objects in a different way. Turning something with an end date, into something completely different. Not allowing its previous life to determine its value in the future.” Tim Read
If you are considering a larger piece of metalwork a visit to Tread Sculptures’ headquarters is a good way to peruse Tim’s work. The spacious bush setting allows you to wander around the studio and sculpture garden and inspect the junk pile for inspiration. You can also view a selection of work for sale and past creations on the website before you visit.
It takes hard work and a little bit of magic to transform random junk into coherent, structurally sound artworks. Versatile metalworkers like Tim, who can produce everything from elegant geometry to kooky critters, are a good match for those seeking distinctive home or garden decorations.
Tread Sculptures gallery and sculpture trail is open to small groups by appointment during COVID restrictions. As the rust creatures multiply and settle in around the river it’s becoming an inspiring destination.